In the recently published Planning for the Future White Paper, Government sent out a radical proposal for planning in England to change. NaCSBA welcomed the potential changes, saying that the ideas should improve the outlook for custom and self build.
The reforms put forward are based around a distinct change in how we deliver planning in England, relying on a simplified idea of zoning for land, combined with design codes that will frame what can be built, where.
- Growth Areas – this would be land earmarked as being “suitable for substantial development”,
- Renewal Areas – land in this category would be classed as “suitable for development”. This could cover a range of existing land types, such as brownfield, infill opportunities and existing built development, and
- Protected Areas – this would see land, such as the countryside, having far more stringent controls covering what is, and isn’t allowable.
If they go ahead, the reforms would be the biggest shake up of planning nationally since the 1940s, when the present system was created.
NaCSBA welcomes the proposals, saying that change is needed, and will result in more custom build and self build homes being built.
Planning proposals for self build
Under the proposals put forward by Planning for the Future, custom build and self build will be supported by:
- Allowing local planning authorities to identify areas for self- and custom-build homes for more people to build their own homes;
- Exploring how public land can support self build when it is disposed;
- Maintaining the exemption of self and custom build development from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
In addition, there would remain a commitment to the Right to Build, although NaCSBA maintains that this needs to be strengthened to make it more robust and give more people access to self build. This would build on the successes made so far.
Andrew Baddeley-Chappell, NaCSBA CEO, said: “For too long our planning system and our housing market has been stuck in a rut.
“Consumer choice is the key to more and better homes that more people aspire to live in and that communities are happier to see built. There is huge potential to be unlocked. With choice comes responsibility and the local design codes will help ensure that these cherished new homes are fitting additions to their surroundings.
The message to the public is clear, the choice that you expect with every other product is now coming to the housing market – prepare to be excited and inspired.”
Planning for the Future is in a consultation stage, and is inviting people to respond to its recommendations.